Dot’s Downtown Beat

DOT’S BEAT: How Contests Shape Montpelier

by Dot Helling Montpelier is a city of “contests,” whimsical and fun, for fundraising and creative incentives. A “contest” is generally defined by Webster’s as an event in which people engage in competition, usually to attain a position of power. The purpose of a contest can be synonymous with social reasons or simply a means to […]

DOT’S BEAT: The Mystique of Our Cemeteries

DOT’S BEAT: The Mystique of Our Cemeteries

story and photos by Dot Helling My first encounter with a cemetery was at age 5, when we were laying my father to rest. He was buried in a beautiful, serene setting, a cemetery where now you need a computer- generated map to locate the graves. I’m not aware of any such expansion occurring in […]

Changes, Changes, Changes! Dot Helling Regrets Loss of the Coffee Corner

Changes, Changes, Changes! Dot Helling Regrets Loss of the Coffee Corner

by Dot Helling Montpelier is steadily changing. Change is inevitable and can be good, but change can also be unsettling and create a sense of loss and displacement. I’m viscerally aware of the changes because I leave each winter for Colorado. I return each spring because this is my home, Vermont is my politics, and […]

DOT’S BEAT: How To Survive Another Winter

by Dot Helling Vermonters pay a price for living in this wonderful place — winter! When the snow fall is good and arctic blasts don’t bottom out our temperatures, Vermont can be heavenly for skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers and snowshoers. But how do we maintain our sanity when the conditions rollercoaster and are not so good? […]

DOT’S BEAT: Montpelier’s Guinness Records

by Dot Helling I‘ve been thinking about a Montpelier book of “Guinness World Records.” What in this city might qualify for such a list? Here are some of my thoughts. The longest clothesline in the city is strung behind a house on Cummings Street and measures about 200 feet long. I have never seen clothes […]

DOT’S BEAT: More of ‘Montpelier’s Friendliest People’

DOT’S BEAT: More of ‘Montpelier’s Friendliest People’

by Dot Helling In 2015 I wrote a well received piece about some of Montpelier’s friendliest people including Gary Bergeron, Amy Cox, Michelle Pitzner, Erich Rosenstreich, George Estes and others. Here are some more. See if you know them. Stop them and say hello. Beat them to the punch. Richard Young works at Yankee Wine […]

DOT’S BEAT: Local’s Unique Vocations and Avocations

DOT’S BEAT: Local’s Unique Vocations and Avocations

by Dot Helling I like to write about the uniqueness of “Montpeculiar” and its downtown and area residents. Many of our residents work at unique vocations and avocations. In this anti-smoking age which she likens to “Prohibition,” Carole Burns of Montpelier makes her living as a tobacconist dealing in tobaccos and fine briar pipes. In 1980 […]

DOT’S BEAT: Vermontisms and Vermont Quirks

by Dot Helling Ever wonder how to properly pronounce those “down country” words and names? Or how it is we “can’t get there from here” when you ask a crusty Vermonter for directions? Or why it is we go down to Burlington when it’s located on the map as Northwest of here? I don’t pretend […]

DOT’S BEAT: Tree Hugger: Single Trees Are Lonely

DOT’S BEAT: Tree Hugger: Single Trees Are Lonely

by Dot Helling Can you be a tree hugger and live in downtown Montpelier? My guess is Montpelier Tree Board Chair John Snell would say yes! It depends on your definition. Kind of like the debate we used to have with Reverend John Nutting about whether or not transplanted Vermonters ever become real Vermonters. I […]

DOT’S BEAT: Bridges of Montpelier

DOT’S BEAT: Bridges of Montpelier

by Dot Helling Movie buffs may remember the films “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” “Bridge of Spies,” and “The Bridges of Madison County,” and most women know who Jeff Bridges is. While we may not have a “famous” bridge in Montpelier, we do have bridges, lots of them. On September 4, Nancy Schulz, former […]